NSW Mining Road and Rail Tour lands in Lithgow

July 15, 2013

NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee visited Lithgow today to meet with the Council and discuss the industry’s benefits as part of the 2013 NSW Mining Road and Rail Tour
The ten day journey by road and rail started in Broken Hill in Far Western NSW last week and will continue by train tomorrow up over the Blue Mountains and onto its final stop at Blacktown in western Sydney, home to many mining manufacturing and supplier businesses.
“We’ve been travelling right across western and central NSW including to Lithgow, a modern mining town in a region that enjoys a rich mining history,” Mr Galilee said.
“Lithgow today is a modern mining town with a coal mining history, highlighted by the Miners Lamp monument on the Great Western Highway. It is reputed that the first coal in Lithgow was cut by Andrew Brown of Bowenfels and used for a steam engine at his flour mill in the 1850s,” Mr Galilee said.
“Today we know mining still contributes significantly to Lithgow and the surrounding region. The NSW Minerals Council’s detailed economic survey of its members found that mining companies surveyed directly spent $109 million in the Lithgow City Council area in 2011/12.
“The research showed that mining companies directly provided $13 million in wages to 925 full time employees over this period and spent $96 million on goods and services in local businesses. The estimated flow-on effect of this economic stimulus in terms of additional spending was $135 million.”
As part of the tour, Mr Galilee will hold talks with the Lithgow City Council on the difficult employment and economic situation currently faced by Lithgow and Cullen Bullen residents following the delay to local miner Coalpac’s proposed mine expansion.
“We know the situation has been very difficult mining workers and their families in Lithgow, Cullen Bullen and surrounding communities.  We’ve already seen 95 jobs lost as a result of the delay to Coalpac’s proposed mine expansion,” Mr Galilee said.
“If the proposed expansion were to be approved the company will be able to replace those 95 workers and create an additional 30 jobs.  The company would also be able to provide additional work for local contractors during the construction of the 4km conveyor, road bridge and wash plant.” 
This demonstrates the economic damage caused by a planning system that fails to provide consistency and certainty. Unless resolved, the damage will continue to be felt by mining workers and their families here in Lithgow and across NSW.
The NSW Minerals Council recently released research from PricewaterhouseCoopers which shows that project delays of 12 months or more would cost NSW 29,000 jobs, $10.3 billion in lost investment and $600 million a year in lost mining royalties over the next two decades.
“We are working hard to make sure the NSW Government understands the need to keep mining strong in regions like Lithgow,” Mr Galilee said.
The NSW Minerals Council also today brought its Voice for Mining initiative to Lithgow help give a greater grassroots voice to those in the community who support local mining.
“The new website, www.voiceformining.com.au, is a platform for those in Lithgow and throughout NSW who want to have their voice heard. They can visit the website and indicate what they might be prepared to do to support the industry,” Mr Galilee said.
“It might be writing a letter to a local newspaper, sending an email to local council or their local Member of Parliament, or simply be following us on Twitter and getting involved in the online conversation using the hashtag #NSWMining.”

Contact: Lindsay Hermes I lhermes@nswmining.com.au I 0409 758 734

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